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Character Strengths Interventions

DATE: Thursday, July 18th 2019

TIME: 1.00 PM - 4:00 PM

FORMAT:  Interactive workshop featuring experiential activities, dyad discussions, lecture, and handouts.

LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre | Meeting Room 217


  • Any practitioner who wants to take their “strengths-based approach” to the next level!

  • Anyone wanting to delve into the latest science and practice of character strengths.

  • Examples include executive coaches, psychologists, counselors, social workers, health and wellness coaches, educators/professors, managers, and human resource professionals.

  • Researchers interested in getting ideas, new knowledge/practices, or greater comfort in the science/practice of character strengths.

Character Strengths Interventions: The latest strengths applications for boosting well-being & managing stress


It’s easy to say – “I’m strengths based” or “I practice with my strengths” but what does this really mean? This workshop takes “strengths-based” to the next level. It will delve into a myriad of character strengths applications with clients, highlight the latest research, distinguish the many types of strengths that people have, and offer how to self-improve with your own strengths-based practice.

This interactive workshop will bring the new science of character strengths to life. You will practice with character strengths activities – through experiential activities and discussions – that help people flourish and manage stress and problems more effectively. You will walk away with essential tools you can begin using with your clients (and yourself) tomorrow.

This workshop will build from the new book, Character Strengths Interventions: A Field-Guide for Practitioners, which was hailed by Martin Seligman as “The GO-TO book for building character.” The book has been applauded by luminaries in leadership (Marshall Goldsmith), organizations (Shawn Achor), positive psychology (Lea Waters), happiness (Tal Ben-Shahar), basic research (Willibald Ruch, Robert McGrath), and coaching (Robert Biswas-Diener).


The new science of character strengths and positive psychology that has emerged in the last 15 years has uncovered 24 universally valued (cross-cultural) character strengths. Research is finding that these character strengths are key ingredients of a life well-lived and are connected with a variety of positive outcomes – greater happiness, better relationships, greater productivity, self-acceptance, and less depression, to name a few. Not only do most practitioners strive personally for these outcomes, so do their clients and students.

The VIA Classification of character strengths (and free, valid tools for measuring them, called the VIA Survey and VIA Youth Survey) provide that “language” and balance for practitioners. Over 7 million people (reaching every country across the globe) have taken VIA Survey, and over 500 scientific studies on character strengths have mounted since the mid-2000s. This language of strengths has been used widely around the world by practitioners. There are now 13 validated assessment measures of character strengths and related constructs, freely available to all researchers.


Traditional psychological approaches assess, diagnose, and treat what is wrong and what is disordered in clients. A character strengths approach (strengths-based approaches) are not meant to replace traditional approaches, rather they are intended to integrate into the equation (they are strong alone and they integrate with any approach a practitioner is already taking). Clients, students, leaders, and employees generally enjoy focusing on character strengths as these are the best and most energizing parts of their personality and they rarely get the chance to explore and express them with deliberateness. In turn, character strengths provide a lens for better self-understanding, greater fulfillment, deeper connections, and improved management of problems.

This workshop:

As the science of character strengths is evolving and advancing each month, practitioners are challenged to keep up with the latest findings, concepts, and applications. This workshop will be peppered with the absolute latest findings in character strengths (studies from 2018-2019) as well as the classics. Character strengths overuse/underuse and optimal-use, character strengths appreciation, new signature strengths research, strengths at work, and strengths and stress are a few areas that will be discussed.

You’ll experience your strengths in action, you’ll witness character, you’ll practices with the practices, you’ll discuss practices, and you’ll learn the latest concepts in the field that is often referred to as “the backbone of positive psychology.” It’s time to soar with character strengths!


Before the session, be sure to take (or re-take) the free, scientific VIA Survey of strengths ( and have handy your rank-order results (1-24). Absolutely not required, but those who want to dig deep into character strengths before the workshop can look into Ryan’s books on the topic, in the following order: Character Strengths Interventions (2018), The Power of Character Strengths (2019, with McGrath), and Mindfulness and Character Strengths (2014).


Name several character strengths interventions and the steps to apply them to help others.

  • Outline an intervention to help a client boost well-being and an intervention to manage stress.

  • Articulate an easy-to-apply structure for embedding character strengths into your personal approach to meetings, to working with clients, or to teaching a class.

  • Identify a strength intervention you can use before a session, during a session, and after a session with a client or at a meeting.

  • Describe a way you can reframe one of your problems using character strengths.

Workshop Leader

Ryan M. Niemiec, Psy.D.   Education director and psychologist, VIA Institute on Character

Ryan M. Niemiec, Psy.D.
Education director and psychologist, VIA Institute on Character

Dr. Ryan M. Niemiec is a leading figure in the education, research, and practice of character strengths that are found in all human beings. Ryan is author of several books, including 3 in the last two years.

Ryan’s primary role is education director of the VIA Institute on Character, a global, non-profit organization in Cincinnati that advances the science and practice of character strengths.

  • Award-winning psychologist, annual instructor at the University of Pennsylvania and adjunct professor at Xavier University.

  • Fellow of the International Positive Psychology Association.

  • Frequent keynoter and workshop leader with over 750 presentations on positive psychology topics across the globe.

  • Columnist for Psychology Today, reaching over 1 million reads.

  • Scholarly author of over 80 invited/peer-reviewed articles. He’s passionate about the connection between character strengths and mindfulness, spirituality, health, disability, parenting, positive movies, and savoring.

Personally, Ryan lives with his wife and three young kids who travel the globe together. Ryan is an avid collector of vintage Pez dispensers, a passionate fan of The Walking Dead, only listens to 1990s alternative rock music, and is a zealot for his alma mater, Michigan State University. His highest strengths are hope, love, curiosity, honesty, fairness, and appreciation of beauty.